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Maslow's hierarchy of needs is often portrayed in the shape of a pyramid, with the largest and

lowest levels at the bottom, and the need for self-actualization at the top.
1. Self-actualization
Image of Pyramid Piece: elf-!ctualization "#hat a man can be, he must be." $his forms the basis
of the perceived need for self-actualization. $his level of need pertains to what a person's full
potential is and realizing that potential. Maslow describes this desire as the desire to become more
and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming. $his is a broad
definition of the need for self-actualization, but when applied to individuals the need is specific. %or
e&ample, on individual may have a strong desire to become an ideal parent, in another it may be
e&pressed athletically, and in another it may be e&pressed in painting, pictures, or inventions. !s
mentioned before, in order to reach a clear understanding of this level of need one must first not
only achieve the previous needs, physiological, safely, love, and esteem, but master these needs.
Below are Maslow's descriptions of a self-actualized person's different needs and
personality traits.
2. Esteem
!ll humans have a need to be respected and to have self-esteem and self-respect. !lso 'nown as the
belonging need, esteem presents the normal human desire to be accepted and valued by others.
People need to engage themselves to gain recognition and have an activity or activities that give the
person a sense of contribution, to feel accepted and self-valued, be it in a profession or hobby.
Imbalances at this level can result in low self-esteem or an inferiority comple&. People with low
self-esteem need respect from others. $hey may see' fame or glory, which again depends on others.
Psychological imbalances such as depression can also prevent one from obtaining self-esteem on
both levels.
Most people have a need for a stable self-respect and self-esteem. Maslow noted two version of
esteem needs, a lower one and a higher one. $he lower one is the need for the respect of others, the
need for status, recognition, fame, prestige, and attention. $he higher one if the need for self-
respect, the need for strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence and freedom.
$he latter one ran's higher because it rests more on inner competence won through e&perience.
(eprivation of these needs can lead to an inferiority comple&, wea'ness and helplessness.
3. Love and Belonin
!fter physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third layer of human needs are social and
involve feelings of belonging. $he aspect of Maslow's hierarchy involves emotionally based
relationships in general, such as:
%riendship
Intimacy
%amily
)umans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, whether it comes from a large social
group, such as clubs, office culture, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams,
gangs, or small social connections *family members, intimate partners, mentors, close colleagues,
confidants+. $hey need to love and be loved *se&ually or non-se&ually+ by others. In the absence of
these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social an&iety, and clinical
depression. $his need for belonging can often overcome the physiological ad security needs,
depending on the strength of the peer pressure, an anore&ic, for e&ample, may ignore the need to eat
and the security of health for a feeling of control and belonging.
-. afety .eeds
#ith their physical needs relatively satisfied, the individual's safety needs ta'e precedence and
dominate behavior. $hese needs have to do with people's yearning for a predictable orderly world in
which perceived unfairness and inconsistency are under control, the familiar fre/uency and the
unfamiliar rare. In the world of wor', these safety needs manifest themselves in such things as a
preference for 0ob security, grievance procedures for protecting the individual from unilateral
authority, savings accounts, insurance policies, reasonable disability accommodations, and the li'e.
afety and security needs include:
Personal security
%inancial security
)ealth and well-being
afety net against accidents1illness and their adverse impacts
!. "#ysioloical $eeds
%or the most part, physiological needs are obvious-they are the literal re/uirement for human
survival. If these re/uirements are not met *with the e&ception of clothing, shelter, and se&ual
activity+, the human body cannot continue to function.
"#ysioloical needs include%
2reathing
%ood
#ater
)omeostasis
e&
leep
!ir, water, and food are metabolic re/uirements for survival in all animals, including humans.
3lothing and shelter provide necessary protection from the elements. $he intensity of the human
se&ual instinct is shaped more by se&ual competition than maintaining a birth rate ade/uate to
survival of the species.